Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

What an eventful year it has been! We welcome Mia to our family in summer, two doggie surgeries in autumn, lots of work travel for my humans throughout the year and family visits in spring and winter. With such a busy year, we haven't had much time to blog. We still appreciate our blog pals and hope to find time to visit from time to time. Meanwhile, here's wishing everyone a wonderful 2014. May the new year bring you love, joy and peace!

Love from Kess & Mia
Hong Kong

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Kess and Mia - Doggie sumo or play?

 Kess & Mia's Mama:

It's been four months since Mia joined our family. Kess and her have found their rhythm. Mia rejuvenates Kess with play, and Kess teaches Mia by leading by example. A good partnership indeed! One of the things that both dogs love to do is doggie sumo. Now that Kess's lump on her head has been removed (and no cancer!), there is no more risk of bleeding on her head,We let them have a play and when it gets out of hand, we call for time out. Both beagles tired by then have a snooze!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

First Mia, then Kess

From the desk of Kess' mama:

In the last 2 months, both our beagles have undergone surgery. Mia went first as we had decided to get her spayed after we took her to the vet for a check-up. We are aware of the benefits of spaying a female dog - reduction of risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer, as well as reduction of risk of unwanted pregnancy. Kess was also spayed, so it made sense to spay Mia too.

Mia was rather disoriented post-surgery, which is normal.

She did not like her buster collar, which was normal too as it got in the way of walking, sniffing, eating and playing. Plus she kept bumping into Kess each time she tried to play with her big sis, which Kess did not like...Thankfully, it did not stop her from enjoying a lie in the sun.
After a week, Mia was recovering beautifully and we we were able to remove her buster collar, which was a great relief to Mia (and us) and life was back to normal again for our happy-go-lucky beagle pup.
Next, it was Kess' turn. As Kess grew older, she started having lumps. A few years back, she had a wart-like lump on her left hip. We had it checked out by Kess' vet in Malaysia and at that time, it was not deemed to be a concern. It did however grow larger over the years. Earlier this year, we noticed two lumps, one near her left eye and one on the top of her head. Again, we got it checked out by Kess' vet in Hong Kong and at that time it was still quite small and not deemed to be a risk. However, the lump on her head got aggravated as Kess and Mia had their doggie sumo wrestling, as I like to call it. Mia would usually initiate their play/fight/wrestle and both dogs would head-butt, nip and chase each other around.
This sometimes result in bleeding, and then it would scab as the wound healed but it would occur again when they played next. Since the lump had increased in size, we consulted the vet again and decided to go for surgery to remove all 3 lumps. It was a tough decision due to Kess' age, and let's face it, nobody likes putting their dog through surgery. But it was the right thing to do.
I have to admit I was shocked when I picked up Kess post-surgery yesterday. Unlike Mia's spaying procedure which is on the belly, Kess' stitches were very visible as they were on her head, face and hip area. The cuts and stiches were also longer than I had anticipated, which looked worse because her fur was shaved around those areas. She looked like a patch up doll - my poor Kess. The upside was that she was full of energy, grabbing onto her leash, eager to go home. In the car, she knocked out and pretty much slept the entire journey home. Once home, she was hungry and wanted her dinner - she had to fast before the surgery and missed out on her breakfast. We were only supposed to feed her half her normal meal at 8pm but she was so hungry that we relented and gave her meal at 6 pm. She was still hungry after her half portion, that we gave her the other half since she did not seem to have any problem with keeping her food down. Anyway, the fact that she had her appetite was a good sign.
 This morning, Kess woke up early - because she was hungry! Typical beagle. She seems to be back to normal and is able to go for walks. We try to keep Mia from disturbing Kess too much. Mia misses her play mate! Kess' stitches looks less red today. Similar to Mia, we take pictures of Kess' stitches each day so that we can compare the recovery progress daily. Kess' lumps have been sent to be tested for cancer and we will know the results in about 4 weeks time. We pray that all will be well with our dear old beagle.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Post Usagi - All is Well!

As expected, the T8 signal was hoisted for Typhoon Usagi on Sunday evening. Thankfully though, the storm weakened as it approached Hong Kong from a severe tropical storm to a tropical storm. We were safe in our home and was well protected from the strong winds and rains. On Monday morning, the T8 signal was removed around 9.30 am and we were able to go for a walk. There were a lot of fallen leaves and branches, but no major damage.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Where to start? Typhoons first...

So much has happened since Mia joined our family, that I honestly don't know where to start...

Let's start with the weather...One week after Mia arrived, HK was hit with Severe Typhoon Utor, which resulted in a T8 warning signal hoisted. Utor was closest to the city at around 250 kilometres to the southwest of Hong Kong.
Whilst the winds howled outside our window, Mia was oblivious to the havoc Typhoon Utor was wreaking outside as she kept busy with her chew toy.

 After the storm had passed, we were finally able to take a walk after being cooped indoors for a whole day. As expected, there were a lot of debris on the road, with fallen branches and leaves all along the road.
We are now bracing for the second typhoon to hit Hong Kong since Mia arrived. Typhoon Usagi is going to be nasty. It is supposed to be the strongest storm on the planet so far, with winds as strong as 260km per hour. Unlike Utor, which did not directly head towards Hong Kong, Severe Typhoon Usagi looks to be heading directly towards our city. For the moment, the T3 signal is hoisted. We are expecting a T8 signal to be hoisted before night fall. We'll keep you posted.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Kess & Mia

For eleven years, I have been the sole beagle in our household. Well, all that has changed. Meet Mia - the latest beagle addition to our family! I have to say I am a little weary about having a very active beagle pup in my home, but my humans have been pretty good to make sure that both beagles get along. They did research before Mia arrived to find out what's the best way to introduce a young pup to an old dame. They got new supplies for the pup so that I don't have to share with the newcomer.

Mia arrived on a sunny summer day. She wasn't happy being in a crate - I know the feeling, Mia.

My humans kept me at home whilst they took Mia for a short walk to let her adjust to the new surroundings. After a while, Mia and I met at a nearby playground where we proceeded to sniff each other out in typical doggie fashion. The meeting went well and we walked home together.
It's only been a week but Mia has totally adjusted to being in our family. She is a very affectionate  beagle pup with tonnes of energy. My humans have to make sure that she doesn't disturb me too much. Despite having her own bed, she likes to use mine. Let's just say the first few nights were pretty restless for humans and beagles. It's improving and Mia is now happy to stay on her bed and I don't mind if she's close by.

Mia has lots of play time and loves to play with her duckie toy.  My humans call her speedy Gonzales because she runs like the wind!

 Last weekend, Mia had her first bath since arriving. Unlike me, she loves the water and would chase after the water when my humans water the plant with the hose. But like me, she is not too crazy about bath time either.

 Mia is also very clever. She only had one training session with my humans and she quickly learn how to sit for treats. We beagles will do anything for food.
All in all, we are all happy to have Mia in our family. She really is a sweet, fun and loving pup. Welcome to our family, Mia!


Friday, August 2, 2013

Loving my garden!

After 2 years of not having a proper garden (the grass patch in the balcony doesn't really count), my humans and I are rediscovering the pleasure of a garden.

From this beagle's perspective, nothing beats the joy of sunbathing in the garden. Notwithstanding the fact that it's been a really wet summer (at the time of writing, the rains are pounding down as severe tropical storm Jebi was about 450 kilometres south-southwest of HK. Whilst Jebi is not expected to hit HK directly, its effects are definitely felt, as a T3, strong wind signal no 3 has been hoisted since dawn).

Still on lovely sunny days, this beagle enjoys sitting, lying and wriggling in the garden!

The other side benefit of having a garden in the backyard is that I no longer have to take the long way down, which involves going down 20 over floors on the lift, walking down the driveway to the small woody area to pee. In my mind, the best benefit is that I get to eat breakfast faster as it takes me no time to run upstairs to the kitchen after my morning pee! Remember how my humans were concerned about this old beagle going up the stairs? Well, ever since they've added fish oil capsules to my diet, I've had a new lease on life and my humans are amazed at how fast I get upstairs, especially when motivated by food!
Last but not least, I no longer have to have a bath in the cramp, slippery bath-tub. Of course, I would prefer not to have a bath at all, but since my humans vetoed that suggestion, I suppose it's much nicer to have a bath in the spacious garden. Plus, if my humans are not attentive enough, I get to wriggle in the garden after my bath. Ha! Ha!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Black and White

Black whiskers on the right side

White whiskers on the left side

Strange, huh?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Grass Patch Box Retired

My trusty 4ft x 3ft grass patch, which has served me well for the two years since I've moved in has been retired. Why?

My humans and I have moved.
I now have my very own little garden. It's much smaller than the garden we had back in Malaysia, but as you can see, it's bigger than my grass patch box.

Beagles love rolling in grass, as you can see below. The big difference between my grass patch and my new garden? Well, the grass patch did not have stinky dead stuff. Yesterday, when my humans let me roam unsupervised in the garden, I came in stinking to high heaven!!! I had sniffed out stinky dead stuff and had a lovely time rolling in it. Naturally, my humans did not appreciate the odor, and off I went for a bath, with double shampooing because I was so smelly. Sigh..

Apart from having my own garden again, it's lovely to explore new walking grounds - new scents and new dogs. On this particular day, it was very misty and dream-like.
It's taken me a couple of days to finally adjust to the disruption of the move (this old beagle does not like change). At least this time round, I didn't have to be separated from my humans, crated and flown thousands of miles, like the last time we relocated to Hong Kong. We just hopped onto our car and drove to our new place. The downside to our new home is the stairs. Similar to our house in Malaysia, it's a multi-storey house. Since I have difficulty climbing stairs but at the same time, want to be where my humans are, it's been a challenge as they have been going up and down to unpack. My humans try to keep me on one floor but if they forget to close the door, this beagle sneaks up and down. Hopefully, now that we're finally settling down, we'll be able to establish a routine which will minimize the stair-climbing.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Kess got mail

This came in the post today. It was addressed to my human but look at whose name it was attentioned to - me, Kess!
The HK SPCA sent me the annual vaccination reminder...Sigh...Visiting the vet is not on my list of favourite things (no offence, Dr. Nic). But my humans say it's a necessary evil. Last year, after my annual visit to the vet, I ended up having to go for dental surgery to get my teeth cleaned and checked. Whilst I was going for surgery, I also got blood tests done. Thankfully, I was given a clean bill of health. Hopefully, there won't be any nasty surprises after this year's visit to the vet.
Admittedly, in the last year, this 11-year old beagle has slowed down quite a fair bit. Before, I used to be able to bound up steps with no problem. Now, I actually have to take one step at a time. In fact, my humans sometimes carry me up and down whenever we come across steps on our walks. My distances have also reduced. In fact, I sometimes worry my human on our daily walks at Bowen Road when I stop, look at her and then make a U-turn to signal my desire to go home, way before our normal turning point. But when we go on the trails, I could go on and on and on. My humans have to make the executive decision to turn back, despite this beagle's protest, as they realize that I may not be able to take the distance.

Apart from the slow steps climbing and shorter distances, with the old age, I've started to develop little nicks and lumps. When my humans first detected the little lump on the top of my head and the nick near my eye which didn't heal, they took me to the vet. However, it's too small for any biopsy to be carried out. I guess I'll have to see what Dr Nic says this visit. Age is definitely catching up. One good thing though, I haven't lost my appetite ;-)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Shepherd's Pie Birthday Dinner for Kess

I always look forward to my birthday and Christmas. Why? Well, for those of you who know this beagle, you would know that I love to eat! I guess you could say I'm a typical Malaysian - I live to eat... (For those of you who may not be familiar with Malaysians, a typical greeting Malaysians use is "Have you eaten?"

Anyway, my human outdid herself this birthday as she made a dog-friendly version of shepherd's pie. So, whilst my humans had a seasoned version of shepherd's pie for their dinner last night, I enjoyed the same meal, minus the seasoning. It really is a quick, simple, but delicious dish, which can be prepared at the same time as the human version.

 The pie consisted of Ausstralian minced beef and carrots, lightly fried in olive oil. My human had to cook the meat separately from their meat as theirs had onions as well as other seasoning. It was then topped up with a bed of creamy mashed potatoes (with milk and butter), with a sprinkling of dried parsley. For the human version, after you've scooped out the portion for your four-legged best friend, season with salt and pepper. At this stage, you can choose to bake it in the oven for about 10 minutes or so (as it is a small bowl). However, my human had started dinner late and this beagle was hungry, so it was served as is. For the human version, you could sprinke some cheese on top of the shepherd's pie and bake for 20 minutes.
 Unfortunately, the shepherd's pie didn't hold up too well during the transfer from the rameikin to my bowl...but I didn't care because it was delicious.
 Is that all? Can I have some more?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pre-Birthday Treat

This beagle turns 11 tomorrow. My humans, who is getting forgetful actually had to check last year's post because they couldn't remember if I was going to be 11 or 12...Now, who is getting older I wonder ;-)

Anyway, since it's the weekend, my human decided to bake me a pre-birthday treat based on a recipe from the internet. Last year, my cookies were made from carrot, banana and apple. This year, my birthday cookies were made from oats, banana and peanut butter.

Now you see it...
Now you don't...Delicious!

After enjoying 2 cookies, with another 10 cookies tucked away in the fridge for a week long birthday treat, my humans decided it was time to walk off some calories and we headed to our favourite weekend spot, the Aberdeen Country Park for a hike. With summer fast approaching (it gets early around 6 am now), the hikes will be few and far between due to the hot and humid weather, so we're taking advantage of the tail end cool days for our outings.

Can't wait to see what treats are in store for me tomorrow...
Here is the recipe my human used for my treat:
1 cup wholemeal flour (or any kind of flour)
1/2 cup oats
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon dried parsley (supposed to help with bad breath...)
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes. Using a tablespoon, scoop mixture onto a lined baking tray. Use the back of the spoon to level the cookie. Bake for 40-45 minutes in a preheated 300F (150C) oven. Let it cool before sharing it with your favourite canine friends.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Discover Hong Kong with Kess - Stanley

Stanley is one of my humans' favourite places - a must do for a visitor to Hong Kong. Located on the south eastern part of Hong Kong island, the journey to Stanley from Central Hong Kong is very scenic. If you catch the double decker bus (6, 6X) from Central, grab a front seat on the right side of the upper deck (if you have nerves of steel) - it can be quite scary but fun as you gasp when the driver navigates the narrow winding road.

When my humans visit Stanley with me, we go by car. Unfortunately, although the ferries in HK allow dogs, the buses don't. So what is there at Stanley for humans and dogs to do?

The pier at Stanley is a great place to chill - you can enjoy the view of the sea from the sidewalk or enjoy a meal at the restaurants and cafes (dogs allowed at outdoor seating).


 You can walk along the pier and discover hidden gems, like the old village houses tucked away from the crowds.

Stanley Plaza is a dog-friendly mall and has a lovely view point for photographs.


As mentioned in my earlier post, there is dog parking available at the restaurants at Stanley Plaza that did not have outdoor seating.

Last but not least, humans in particular love the street market of Stanley - a haven for souveniers, clothings, shoes, costume jewellery, etc, etc.  So if you're ever in Hong Kong, be sure to pay a visit to Stanley.


Thanks for signing my guest book.